Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Eagles

Dear Christa—

I saw the eagles this morning—first 2, then 3—gliding high above the treetops and the bean fields. I could tell they were eagles because they are so big, even at that distance, and because of how they glide and swirl in circles.

I’m in southern Illinois this week. I saw the eagles on my walk out to the road and back. There are no fancy greenways here to walk, just the lane out to the road, so I walk it—too late in the morning—to the road and back three times. That’s when I saw them, the eagles.

On this piece of land, that’s been in my family for generations, there is mainly natural beauty. The wild orange daylilies line the ditch in profusion. As I approach the bridge, a red-winged blackbird squawks at me from his perch on the power line. The bottom fields are planted in beans instead of last year’s corn. 

At one round I pause on the creek bridge to peer into the water, as my children did years ago when they were young and this old farm held them spellbound with wonders not seen in the city. They would search this creek for small fish, frogs, and snakes. I’m glad that I don’t see a snake this morning.

But, my eyes continually lift to the heavens in search of the eagles. Now, there are four, swirling, swirling so high that they are just specks against the sky.

Eagles have always been special. The Greeks and Romans associated their most powerful god with the eagle. Countries, including ours, use it as a symbol of majesty and power.

The eagles are such a sight. They sweep across the horizon. Jay hears them screech as he’s working up near the house.

I would like to be an eagle, soaring high above the earth—seeing all things. But, I know that I am like the little birds that feverishly flap their wings, low to the earth, fluttering here and then there.

I have never seen the eagles flap their wings. Instead they stretch them out, tilting one way and then another, letting the invisible air hold them. I don’t know what it takes to be an eagle, high above, seeing beyond. Something tells me it’s tied to suffering, but I don’t want to suffer.

I know spiritual eagles, and I know I am not one. They are rare. 

I have walked to the road and back many times over the years, but rarely have I seen the eagles.

…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Is. 40:31)

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